President Obama has apparently taken President Carter’s advice. It was that any American President has only two windows of opportunity to break the iron grip the Zionist lobby in all of its manifestations has on the Congress of the United States of America on matters to do with the conflict in and over Palestine that became Israel. The two windows are the first nine months of a president’s first term and the second half of his second term if he has one. This is so because fund-raising for the mid-term elections, which enables Zionism to buy law makers or take out those who won’t toe Zionism’s line (e.g. Congressman Paul Findley), begins in about month ten.
Into the fifth month of his first term, President Obama is demonstrating that he really is serious about making peace in the Middle East. After his straight talking to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu on the need for an end to all Israeli settlement activity, this being the pre-requisite for the start of a real but last chance peace process, it was reasonable to conclude, I thought, that President Obama understands what the biggest real threat to America’s own best interests is – American foreign policy of the Bush-Cheney era in general and, in particular, American support for Israel right or wrong. The latter, with the assistance of British Prime Minister Tony Blair, was the recruiting sergeant for violent Islamic fundamentalism in all of its forms.
I was even more convinced that President Obama was going to be serious about moving the peace process forward after Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, somewhat to my surprise, fully and even vigorously endorsed the President’s statements to Netanyahu. When the President said he wanted an end to all settlement activity, she said, he meant just that, all activity including “natural growth”. On his return to Israel, and as I mentioned in my last post, Netanyahu, by insisting that “natural growth” activities would continue, was effectively telling Obama to go to hell. In that light and sequence of events, Secretary of State Clinton’s words were dramatic. She was effectively saying to Netanyahu something like, “If you want confrontation with the Obama administration, you can have it.”
After listening several times to Clinton’s words, I said to myself, we’re in for some very interesting weeks. If there is not to be a confrontation between the Obama administration and the Zionist state of Israel and its lobby in America, either Netanyahu or Obama will have to back down. Which of the two of them will it be?
But since those thoughts passed through my mind, President Obama has spoken again (after meeting with Palestinian President Abbas), and I’m no longer as hopeful as I was about the prospects for peace. Obama said he was really confident that “we can move the peace process forward IF (my emphasis added) all the parties are willing to take on their responsibilities and obligations.”
We know that the governments of the whole Arab and wider Muslim world are ready, willing and able to take on their responsibilities and obligations – to make peace with Israel in exchange for its withdrawal from all the Arab territory occupied in 1967. (In the ideal scenario, apparently acceptable to all the governments of the Arab and wider Muslim world, and Hamas and Hizbollah, Jerusalem would not be divided and would be the capital of two states).
The question arising is – What will President Obama actually do if, as I fear will be the case, Israel remains opposed to peace on terms the vast majority of Palestinians and almost all other Arabs and Muslims everywhere could accept?
That’s the context in which President Obama’s “if” worries me. It could imply that he won’t be willing to confront the Zionist state and its lobby if necessary, and that he’ll explain that lack of will, that failure of leadership, by saying, in effect: “Don’t blame me. I tried. It’s not my fault that all of the parties are not willing to take on their responsibilities and obligations.”